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View Diary: Electronic Medical Records: A Primer (118 comments)

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  •  Really? All patient records can be ported.... (0+ / 0-)

    easily into a competitor's software product, for free? Understand that I'm more than skeptical on that score. Sharing lab information, sure. But making it easy to port the complete records to a competitor's product? I'll believe that when I see it.

    What company do you work for?

    •  I don't know about that direction (0+ / 0-)

      I know we work on making it easy to get data from competitor's software into ours. Moving data from ours into theirs is their job :-) We're not deliberately trying to make it difficult, though.

      (Not that many places switch from our software to anybody else's anyway)

      •  Then you must be aware of the obscene cost. (0+ / 0-)

        Every vendor I've ever talked to quoted a price somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000 (yes, that's six zero's) to import data from one EMR to another on the scale of our practice, which has about 7 physicians and 8 PA's.

        So you can understand how most physicians see your industry as one that probably issues its employees masks and guns as standard equipment.

        •  As I mentioned (0+ / 0-)

          We export to a standard SQL database. I can't imagine why we'd want to spend programmer time converting that into a competetor's format; as a rule, we're not even allowed to look at other EMR software, for legal reasons.

          So yes, I can totally believe it would be expensive.

          PS sorry for the delay answering; I've been pulling 12 hour shifts at a hospital all week.

          •  Thanks for the reply. I think you still aren't... (0+ / 0-)

            quite understanding my issue.

            For me it's drop-dead obvious that all EMR's should be required to use a standard data format that can cheaply, transparently, and easily convert/port the entire patient record to other EMR's. I don't see it as any different from all appliances in the home using the same wall current. It's an obvious necessity from the standpoint of patient convenience and safety, access to data from referring providers, and basic quality of care.

            Instead patient records are locked into totally proprietary closed formats that can only be exported to another system at exhorbitant (really, more like extortionate) cost. The term 'cartel' comes to mind.

            •  There are a few issues (0+ / 0-)

              I think it's more like comparing Microsoft Word with Adobe Acrobat. Both are used to create and save documents, but you wouldn't expect to open a .docx in Acrobat Reader, nor would you expect either Microsoft or Adobe to spend money developing that functionality (although now you can save as .pdf from Word, since MS would rather you just use their product all the time rather than Adobe's!)

              Should you be able to move data between EMRs? Absolutely, and I know there are people at my company who spend their time working on how to import from other systems. But every one will have slightly different functionality (even if you impose a minimum standard, each will exceed that standard in different ways) and there are quite a few systems in use. As I said before, I don't know how other EMRs export data (and in fact I'm not allowed to look at how they do anything, for legal reasons) so I don't know how difficult it is to standardize their data so we can use it. I can say that I believe our exported data should be pretty easy to use if you understand the data model (although I can't elaborate on that, for obvious reasons); I don't know whether converting it to another format should take 3 programmers a month (which is what the $100k you quoted would pay for).

              Again, this is all my opinion - I'm not in any way involved with this stuff and there could very well be factors I'm not aware of, so don't take any of this as authoritative.

    •  But seriously... (0+ / 0-)

      We export to industry-standard formats.

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